What is a Short Code?

For many years, the most successful businesses and organizations have been using text marketing to initiate high-value interactions with prospects, customers, donors, and others. If you haven’t invested in text message marketing by now, you’re behind the curve. The good news is, there’s a simple and easy way to get back on track.

It starts with an understanding of the basic features of functions of text marketing. In most cases, securing a short code is the first step your business or organization should take in creating a results-driven text marketing program.

There are three types of short code numbers. Which is right for your business or organization? Use these expert insights to guide your decision-making process. Of course, you can contact our team of textperts for further information and advice.

What is a Short Code? A Beginner’s Guide

A short code is a five or six digit number that businesses and organizations use as a key element of a text message marketing campaign. A short code is the number to which Keywords are texted in order to take advantage of a promotion, donate to a worthy cause, request technical support, and other types of text messages.

Here are the three types of short code numbers.

1. Shared Short Code

A shared short code is a number that’s shared by multiple clients of the same text message marketing service provider. A shared short code is ideal for small to medium enterprises with limited marketing budgets. In most cases, a shared number is usually provided free of charge by the service provider as part of the subscription package. 

Using a shared short code has some unique advantages. For example, if a florist, restaurant, and a department store in the same town use the same shared short code, prospects and customers will start to recognize this number. Typically, shared short codes are already easy to remember. For example, EZ Texting’s number is 313131.

However, shared short codes come with a few disadvantages as well. Unfortunately, businesses and organizations use the same short code cannot use the same Keyword.

In this instance, a dedicated short code may be more advantageous. 

Roadmap to Mastering Text Message Marketing

2. Dedicated Short Code

When businesses want unlimited access to specific Keywords, a dedicated short code is the ideal solution. This is also true for businesses that focus on marketing-critical or branded keywords. The process for applying for a dedicated short code is quick and easy, but it also has to be approved by each of the cellular networks to ensure it does not go against any rules or regulations. It is also important to provision and test the dedicated short code before final approval is granted.

Despite the effort involved and the cost of leasing a dedicated short code, there are plenty of businesses that choose this option because of the unique opportunities it provides. Because the numbers are random, dedicated short codes are not easily remembered. As such, a vanity short code might be a better solution.

3. Vanity Short Code

A vanity short code usually spells out a word related to a business’ name or product. For example, 7-Eleven use 711711. Typically, vanity short codes cost upwards of $1,000 per month to lease, and businesses have to go through cellular network approval before using the short code in a text marketing campaign. Whether the effort and extra expense to obtain a vanity short code is worth it will depend on the unique ambitions of your business and what it aims to achieve through business text messaging.

Which Short Code Will You Choose?

When businesses and organizations choose to invest in text messaging as a marketing tactic, a shared short code is usually the right solution to start with. However, as marketing priorities change, a dedicated or vanity short code might be the logical next step. With the help of our dedicated support teams, you can access any of these solutions. When it’s time to upgrade, our textperts are available to answer your questions or concerns – it’s that easy!

To learn more about the benefits of shared, dedicated, and vanity short codes, we recommend downloading our free playbook. In this guide, we’ll show you the nine steps all successful text marketers take when they are just getting started. Learn from these expert insights to craft a text marketing strategy that works for your business or organization.

Roadmap to Mastering Text Message Marketing